How’s it going guys? I hope you’re all excited for YCS Miami this weekend. Although I am unable to attend, I’m certainly going to be viewing this YCS’s results, and I have a sneak peak of one of the many strategies that could be used at this event. We’re going to be taking a look at a particular person who plans to remerge here this weekend after previously scoring a big win! Today’s article will be reviewing and discussing the deck of Florida’s defending champion, Travis Massengale. Travis (who goes by Tray) was more than happy to share his deck with me, explaining some specific card choices, reasoning behind his build, and just general information about the deck.
The basic engine of this deck is none other than the new Fire Fist archetype. It’s no question that this archetype is capable of producing a diverse amount of subsequent decks, especially considering its recent release and lack of builds to go ‘cookie cutter’ from. For example, there may be an exceptionally high amount of Wind Up players, but the variance among the card choices is extremely minimal, differing no more than a few cards from each build. Since the YCS hasn’t begun yet, a decklist cannot be posted, however his individual card choices will be discussed.
First is some brief discussion on Fire Fists strategy and Trays focus in his duels. Tray decided to use a new card, Onslaught of the Fire Kings, in building his deck. The reason is because one of his primarily goals is to summon Tiger King as soon as possible. If you don’t already know why Tiger King is so important, there are a few reasons. It’s a 2200 beater which instantly searches you ANY Fire Formation spell or trap. This is an amazing effect and creates a variety of options to choose from considering they have personalized spells similar to Double Summon and Reinforcements of the Army, as well as their own versions of traps such as Horn of the Phantom Beast and Safe Zone. All of these spell or traps are also continuous and give a 100 or 300 attack boost to all your Beast Warrior monsters, even after you’ve used them. It may not seem like a lot, but as the duel progresses and you go through your resources, it’s very easy to get 3 or more of them on the field, effectively making every monster you summon a huge threat. The other reasons why early access to Tiger King is so important, as Tray explains, are his 2 other effects. When he’s summoned, all other monsters currently on the field lose their effects until your opponents next end phase. He explained how this is especially useful versus the Wind Up matchup, being able to stun all of his opponent’s monsters effects for a turn and grabbing a copy of Fire Formation – Tensen (which boosts a monster by 700 and an additional 300 boost to all beast warriors). With no effects and a monster with at least 3200 attack, it definitely buys you some time to play around their field. Even with all these great benefits, Tiger King has another effect which makes it especially dangerous late game. When it’s sent to the graveyard, you can send 3 Fire Formation spell or trap cards to the graveyard to special summon 2 Beast Warrior monsters with the same attack. Considering how easy it is to set up 3 continuous spell and trap cards, it becomes very advantageous to summon Tiger King as early as possible, and making your big monster a possibly even bigger threat when destroyed!
A card which seems to be making its way back into competitive Yugioh a bit is Reborn Tengu. Tray considers this a vital addition to the deck, since the majority of the decks weaknesses come from losing monster presence. Being able to fearlessly summon into multiple backrows greatly helps put pressure on your opponent and make full use of Tensen. He also happens to play Wind Up Rabbit for most the same reasons discussed for Tengu. Both of these cards are of course Beast Warriors, which make them searchable by Tenki and grant them all the added attack power of your continuous spell and trap cards. Nothing is more scary then a Wind Up Rabbit with 2000 attack, and fearing it may increase by an additional 1000 with successful activation of Tensen! These monsters also help tremendously upon a successful play with Diamond Dire Wolf, which is an XYZ that requires 2 lvl 4 Monsters, and an effect similar to Scrap Dragon, destroying 1 Beast, Beast Warrior, or Winger Beast, along with any other card on the field. Tray also loves his 3 copies of Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Dragon, which many Fire Fist players any not doing. As he explains however, Dragon generates quick advantage and sets up his plays quicker, making it an essential part of his strategy.
Lastly Tray had some random thoughts/comments over his deck. As far as matchups go he is fairly pleased with how the deck seems to be handling the current meta. Against Wind Ups and Water he is usually able to score an early victory Game 1 by being aggressive and ending the duel quick. Games 2 and 3 Tray finds Deck Devastation Virus to be extremely useful against these decks. Against Water specifically he finds the access to rank 4 highly beneficial, considering waters venerability to Abyss Dweller. One of Tray’s favorite rank 4’s however is Gagaga Cowboy. While it’s nothing like Dark Strike Fighter, Tray often finds his opponents with 800 or less life points, considering a rescue rabbit play can deal 4000 damage instantly. That being said, Gagaga Cowboy can seal multiple duels and provide more options for victory. While most players wait until there is a prime strategic advantage before they use their Fire Formation Traps, Tray often uses them earlier in the game in order to deal as much life points damage as possible, and with Cowboy, you essentially only have to deal 7200. Another cool play to do is activating Torrential Tribute and then saving your monster with Tenken, letting your monster attack right into a newly cleared field.
Going into this YCS, Tray expresses he is confident with his knowledge of the format and the strength of his deck. I’m glad I was given the opportunity to get an inside look at his deck before the competition started. I will be posting his deck list after the event. I hope you all enjoyed a brief overview of Trays deck, and I wish you luck in your return to Florida. To Tray, and all of you readers, play hard or go home!